A World Cup final between China and India? It’s happened!
India vs. China — It’s ON!
But not in the sport of soccer. In 2008 and 2009, the popular film-geek website The Auteurs created a Cinema World Cup, which was designed to increase awareness of the cinema being produced around the globe.
It kicks off in September with 32 teams, separated into 8 groups of 4, from which the top 2 in each group have qualified for the last 16. Each team has had a manager making the selections. In each match 3 films are paired against an opponent. Results are decided by the voting preferences of Auteurs users: to vote you must have seen both films in each pairing.
That’s a great idea! Check out this lineup for the the quarterfinal match between Spain and Italy (not just a soccer classic):
El Sur (Erice) – La Strada (Fellini)
Los Olvidados (Buñuel) – Umberto D. (De Sica)
Arrebato (Zulueta) – Salò (Pasolini)
Italy went on to win this encounter 2:1. Boo! There was flopping in the penalty box.
I’ve not been able to find any information on a 2010 version of the event, but user mandarkzilla has created a very useful public collection at Criticker which joins the participating films. Take a look! Voting has been closed for awhile and the results are known, but this is a good way to (re-)introduce yourself to some classics from every corner of Earth.